Emergency contraception is a form of birth control taken after you’ve had unprotected sex. It comes in two forms: a pill taken orally or a copper IUD inserted in the vagina.
Emergency contraception, when taken as a pill, contains hormones that prevent eggs from being released. It does not cause abortion. The copper IUD, known as ParaGard IUD, is inserted in the vagina by a health care provider.
Emergency contraception can be used up to 5 days after you have had unprotected sex. The pill form is 88% effective at preventing pregnancy, however, the sooner you take it the more effective it is. The ParaGard IUD is 99.9% effective at preventing pregnancy.
Emergency contraception in pill form can be purchased over-the-counter at pharmacies. While most brands do not require a prescription, some do if you are under 16. The ParaGard IUD must be inserted by a health care professional.